Sweet and tangy monthly rewards
25 January 2024
Emma Inglis

Indulging in a treat that’s not only delicious but also guilt-free is a pleasure that many consumers are savouring these days. Frozen yoghurt (aka fro-yo) is a delightful, chilled dessert that combines the smooth and creamy texture of traditional yoghurt with the refreshing chill of ice cream. Frozen yoghurt stores are typically self-serving, allowing consumers to control their portion size, select their preferred flavours and customise their toppings. This treat becomes a shared experience with friends and family as you witness the fro-yo swirling into your cup while you craft your personalised creation, culminating in a finishing touch with an array of toppings.


Yo-chi is a frozen yoghurt retailer which was established in Balaclava, Melbourne in September 2012. Now, this family-owned business has 25 stores operating across Australia. They offer high quality self-serve frozen yoghurt including dairy and gluten-free options, as well as fun toppings including freshly cut fruit prepared daily on site.

Beyond the yummy treats, Yo-Chi is driven by a commitment to inspire creativity and create a positive social impact. The brand places a strong emphasis on environmental sustainability and community support.


Chi Club serves as Yo-chi’s loyalty program, offering a straightforward process with a quick app download and account creation in less than 3 minutes. Members accrue 1 point for every $10 spent at any Yo-Chi store, leading to a $10 in-store credit upon reaching 10 points. Additionally, members receive a birthday bonus of 10 points annually (roughly equivalent to 1 free Yo-Chi), alongside spontaneous offers accessible in the app’s Offers section.

Points based loyalty programs

Points based loyalty programs awards members points for every purchase and activity they have with the brand. These points can be redeemed for discounts, rewards, or credit. In the case of the Chi-Club, members accumulate points and redeem it for store credit to spend in the future.

One advantage credit has over discounting is they may be more likely to be perceived as something tangible (a specific dollar amount visible in the member’s account vs an unallocated percentage)1. A credit which the member has earned and feels ownership over may be more likely to tap into the endowment effect and loss aversion biases, meaning the member may be more reluctant to lose access to their credit compared to a discount.

Downloading the app

To join Chi Club, members are required to download the app. While loyalty programs based on apps have advantages, the challenge lies in convincing consumers to download yet another app, considering the average consumer in the US, South Korea, Japan and Australia have over 100 apps on their smartphone.2

Brands need a compelling incentive to encourage members to take the extra step of downloading another app to their phones and joining the loyalty program. Yo-Chi motivates their members by offering a 20% off voucher.

Paying in store

To purchase a Yo-Chi, members must scan the barcode on the app. This is an effective and simple way to collect transaction data and reward members with points. In contrast, Messina an Australian based gelato brand, requires members to pay by registering their credit card on their app to purchase from Messina’s stores to access benefits. By simply scanning a barcode, Yo-Chi have removed members’ hesitation of sharing data such as credit card details and the ability to track the user wherever they go. Feel free to read a critique of Messina’s loyalty program here.

Monthly offerings

By downloading the app, members can stay in the loop with news, events and enjoy benefits such as winning free Yo-Chis and learning about monthly special Chi toppings. In January 2024, Yo-Chi is offering a festive twist for the Lunar New Year by offering fortune cookies as a limited edition topping. Ten fortune cookies are hiding a ‘golden ticket’, and lucky members who find it will receive $1000! As of the time writing this blog, 3 winners have been discovered.

This culturally inclusive and entertaining competition not only engages members but also encourages repeat purchases and upsells more toppings. The thrill of opening a fortune cookie to reveal if you’ve won introduces a playful element to the anticipation, enhancing the overall experience.

Social media

Yo-Chi has effectively promoted the January initiative, ‘Find your fortune at Yo-Chi’, through Instagram. It features engaging posts with quirky graphics of fortune cookies and a video with a golden ticket winner. While these posts are vibrant and informative, the initiative’s details are not shared on the Yo-Chi website or the app.

As pictured below, there is a quirky and appetising graphic on the app that captures attention, but unfortunately, there is a lack of information regarding the details of ‘Find your Fortune at Yo-Chi’. Given that presenting the app is a prerequisite for all prize winners to be eligible, it is essential that details about the competition be featured on the app.

Communi-Chi support

Communi-Chi Support at Yo-Chi embodies the brand’s unwavering commitment to local communities, as reflected in their three impactful initiatives: Yo-Chiever sponsorship, Change for Change fundraising, and Colouring Competitions.

  • Yo-Chiever sponsorship: supports local junior sports clubs by providing certificates and complimentary Yo-Chi treats to selected players each week, fostering a sense of belonging and community pride.
  • Change for Change fundraising: donation boxes to support community-based charities, with Yo-Chi generously matching every dollar collected, thereby aligning with the charitable values of their customers and generating positive word-of-mouth.
  • Colouring Competitions: encouraging aspiring young artists to get creative with monthly colouring competitions. This aligns with the brand’s value to inspire creativity.

Yo-Chi’s involvement in community support distinguishes Yo-Chi in the competitive frozen yoghurt market, reinforcing its image as not just leader in frozen treats but also a socially conscious brand, thereby solidifying brand loyalty among customers who seek a purpose driven cause.

Sweet and tangy thoughts

Yo-Chi’s Chi Club loyalty program stands out not only for its simplicity and easy to use app, but also for its strategic approach to member engagement. The monthly offerings keep members excited and engaged, encouraging repeat purchases and upsells. This playful element not only enhances the overall experience but also establishes a sense of anticipation and enjoyment. Furthermore, Yo-Chi’s active involvement in community support solidifies its image as a socially conscious brand, aligning with the values of its customers and fostering a deeper sense of loyalty. By intertwining these elements seamlessly, Yo-Chi not only satisfies the sweet cravings of its customers but also nurturers a community that values creativity, social impact, and delicious frozen treats.

Looking to sweeten your loyalty program?

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  1. Shelper, P. et al. (2023a) Loyalty Programs: The Complete Guide . 2nd edn. Sydney, NSW: Loyalty & Reward Co. ↩︎
  2. App Annie, ‘The state of mobile 2020,’ https://www.appannie.com/en/go/state-of-mobile-2020/, accessed 10 June2020. ↩︎
<a href="https://loyaltyrewardco.com/author/emma-inglis/" target="_self">Emma Inglis</a>

Emma Inglis

Emma is a Strategy Consultant at Loyalty & Reward Co, the leading loyalty consulting firm. Loyalty & Reward Co design, implement, and operate the world’s best loyalty programs for the world’s best brands. Emma has previously worked with top tier management consulting companies such as Bain, BCG, and Mckinsey supporting their market research. Emma applies her skills in all aspects of the business including loyalty program design, lifecycle strategy, market research and member engagement.

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